(CBS 11) – On Thursday, January 24, Cumulus Media’s SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket (KTCK-AM/FM) celebrated its 25th anniversary as the pre-eminent sports radio station in the DFW area as well as nationally.
The 1310 frequency has a tremendous amount of history in Dallas. To just hit the highlights, it operated under the call letters WRR (“We Radiate Radio”), first licensed for municipal and police transmissions on August 5, 1921. For years, it was owned by the City Of Dallas (Classical 101 WRR-FM still is to this day). It was an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System for years but later switched to the NBC Radio Network and in the 70s carried NBC’s News & Information Service network on a 24/7 basis. The station manager at that time with the NBC all-news format was Edd Routt, a longtime Gordon McLendon sales executive at crosstown rival 1190 KLIF, and taught night classes at SMU in broadcast management. I was one of his students in 1974 and, through Edd, I got to meet Bart McLendon, Gordon’s son.
Later the station changed called letters and became KAAM with a big band/standards music format for most of that time (similar to SIRIUS XM 40s Junction). At that time, it was one of the few remaining stations in town on the AM band that still played music.
On January 24, 1994, the station, then under new ownership led by investment banker Spence Kendrick, flipped formats to all sports/talk and changed the call letters to KTCK. They are branded as “SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket,” and have successfully developed the sports/talk/opinions format in the DFW area. What is also remarkable is its ability to attract a young audience on the AM band that has been progressively skewing older since the early 1980s. Personalities that have been on the station during its history include Norm Hitzges, George Dunham, Mike Rhyner, Skip Bayless, Curt Menefee, Craig Miller, Chuck Cooperstein, and many more. Today, the station is owned by Cumulus Media, which also owns New Country 96.3 KSCS-FM, 99.5 The Wolf (KPLX-FM), Hot 933 (KLIF-FM), TalkRadio 570 KLIF, and NewsTalk 820 WBAP.
The station operates its AM facility with a daytime power of 25,000 watts with four towers. Its nighttime power is 5,000 watts (which is what it has been for some time) with three towers. Both daytime and nighttime coverage operate with directional signals. Since AM radio waves have different wave propagation than FM, especially after dusk, the station has a different nighttime coverage designed specifically to protect another station also operating on the 1310 frequency at night. For a few years, it had an FM simulcast on 104.1 KTDK/Sanger, just north of the DFW area. Since 2013, it now simulcasts on 96.7, KTCK-FM, licensed to Flower Mound TX (this frequency used to be WBAP-FM that simulcast the programming on WBAP 820, a 50,000 watt powerhouse and clear channel station at night heard in nearly 40 states).
Congratulations KTCK on your 25th anniversary!!